Denver Rails -The Railroads of Denver and the West
Location: 7TH ST. & R AVE.
Phone: 360-293-2634
Miniature steam railroad. (Tommy Thompson's home built steam locomotive and rolling stock were moved to inside private storage. Current disposition is on hold while his family attempts to carry out Tommy's wishes. Some of the Anacortes right-of-way was still in place the end of 2004, current status is unknown.) I received this notice recently, hooray for government:
"as of 1999, Tommy Thompson died, ending 25 years operating his Anacortes Railway. Tommy's Forney Style Locomotive was originally a Compressed Air Locomotive built by H. K. Porter Company, in 1909 for the Homestake Mine. Thompson then acquired it, and redesigned a firebox and cab for it, which he built over in Seattle. Thompson also fabricated and built each one of his passenger cars, proving he was a craftsman of hardwoods. The Thompson Family ran their locomotive on large chunks of fir bark, which gave off the sweetest smelling exhaust anyone had the pleasure of smelling. The family sold the locomotive, and cars, and other odds and ends, leaving only the tracks in Anacortes. The equipment now sits in storage at Boeing Field, at the Georgetown Steam Plant Museum in South Seattle. Check the Washington State Steam Railroads and Locomotives Website, I'm sure they would be more than helpful to verify this information. Some information on the Railroad to know, is that from day one, Thompson fought with the City of Anacortes for nearly 10 years on getting approval on that corridor that he operate his railroad on. The city was dead set against it, as they saw it as nothing more than an amusement ride, which in their minds would die out after the first year. The railroad became more popular each year, having record breaking crowds every year. It got to the point, that the second Air Compressed Locomotive that Thompson had in reserve, was considered to be modified for a second locomotive for the railroad. But Tommy died, his dream of having 2 locomotives operating on his track never happened. So now the Thompson Family has sold off all the Railroad, Locomotives, Cars, rails, Frogs, Switches, to spite Anacortes, for all those years that Tommy had to fight with them to operate his railroad, he gave instructions in his Will, that the family was never to donate, sell, lease to the City, his railroad and it's equipment, at any cost. So, when it was sold, the buyers were under a legal contract to never sell, donate, or lease any of their newly bought equipment to the City of Anacortes, or sale of equipment would be terminated and go back to the Thompson Family as their said property again and would be subject for commercial scrap out. The Thompson Family was angry with the City of Anacortes, as their railroad always brought in more money and tourism than anything else in that town. But if it ever were to run again, it won't be in Anacortes, that's for sure."
God Bless America
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